Finding timely and accurate local health data – health information at the sub-county level – is a challenge faced by researchers, public health officials and communities when implementing and evaluating health and health equity work. Health information is often only available at the county level or higher, even though neighborhoods within counties can have very different demographics and health outcomes.
To address the lack of consistent neighborhood-level data, the Collaborative Center for Health Equity (CCHE) partnered with the Health Innovation Program (HIP) and the Population Health Institute to launch the UW ICTR Neighborhood Health Partnerships Program (NHP). NHP reports will provide information on a variety of health outcome and care measures at the ZIP code level in Wisconsin. Such sub-county data has the potential to offer essential insights into patterns of health inequities and help identify local factors that can promote health and well-being.
Measures currently available from the NHP pilot cross the continuum of care, including wellness, prevention, risk factors for chronic disease, and chronic disease. Jessica Bonham-Werling, HIP Associate Director for Research Operations and NHP Director, comments,
We hope to see even more measures added and additional health systems participating in the future to make the reports even more powerful. We are also piloting a set of action tools to support communities and partners in understanding and using these measures to collaborate, form partnerships, and take evidenced-based action.
A list of the extensive number of community organizations who contributed to the design of pilot reports and tools is available on the recently launched NHP website.
The underlying data is made possible through a partnership with the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ), a collaborative of health systems throughout the state. WCHQ publicly reports standardized quality measures to improve healthcare quality and affordability.
The NHP reports and tools can be used to identify disparities in care and health status, target communities in need, develop and evaluate programs, and provide data to support advocacy and grant applications. The NHP pilot will run through March 2021. During this period the team will be focusing on testing the reports, tools and dissemination processes and gathering feedback.
CCHE colleagues Susan Passmore, UW CCHE Assistant Director, and Tyson Jackson, CCHE Information and Engagement Coordinator, participated in the launch phase of the NHP pilot, and Jackson will also serve as one of the NHP Project Navigators who connect community organizations to the project team. Dr. Passmore notes,
Tyson and I were delighted to take part in developing the NHP. The project is very exciting and is an excellent fit with CCHE’s health equity mission. Our strategic goal for participation is to increase the sharing of resources in support of community-driven agendas, and ultimately to increase community/academic communication and collaborations in Wisconsin.
An earlier report described the release in the early summer of preliminary ZIP code level reports targeted at estimating the number and prevalence of individuals who may be at risk of developing severe complications from COVID-19.
Investigators interested in requesting reports or learning more can contact CCHE at email@example.com.
In addition to support from NIH through the CTSA award to UW ICTR, this project is also supported by the Wisconsin Partnership Program.